Today we went to the north end of the Island where the boats usually arrive from Turkey. We went to get life jackets from the life jacket graveyard to make the SOS Flowers, Key Chains and Scraps of Hope Cards. Lighthouse Rescue, an NGO that helps the refugees come ashore is still working there. Despite the patrolling of Greek and Turkish coastguard ships, rafts are landing. We watched patrol boats patrolling the Aegean. From here the coast of Turkey is very close. That is why there are so many boats landing here. Scary time for refugees because the Turkish boats push them towards Greece and the Greek coastguard tries to prevent them from landing. It is crazy and terrifying. Local rescue boats are still docked in the small harbor here and we saw one with remnants of a deflated raft on the deck.
We met some of the Lighthouse Rescue crew and had interesting conversations with them. They had life jackets from refugees and gave them to us. We loaded up the trunks of both cars with them. Carolyn (SOS designer) you will be happy!
We then went up to the UNHCR Stage 2 camp which had been burned down by fascists last Sunday. This is where refugees are first taken from the rafts for dry clothing, warm food and water. Many arrive dehydrated and hypothermic and maybe a bit stressed out with coastguard boats shooting at them and trying to sink their boats.
The clinics are again closed tomorrow because there was some demonstrations today. We are hoping to open on Sunday at Kitrinos and then start at the Healthpoint Urgent Care on Monday. We are a bit frustrated at not being able to start work.
Again, please share these posts with friends — so many in the USA have no idea how huge this humanitarian crisis is!
We are witnessing.
photos: UNHCR Camp burned down by fascists last Sunday.